• Effects of Monetary Incentives on Academic Performance of Fourth-Grade Students from Low Socioeconomic Status

      Dafiaghor, Sandra O.
      Scientific investigations of monetary incentives on students‘ academic achievement have not explored effects on performance of students from low socioeconomic status (SES), nor has there been exploration of teachers‘ perceptions of how monetary incentives impact academic performance of students from low socioeconomic status. The present study explored how low SES students perceive their academic performances being impacted by extrinsic monetary incentives. The study also explored the fourth-grade teachers‘ beliefs about the impact of monetary incentive on students‘ academic performance. The study found that students believe monetary incentives will increase academic performance, depending on the size of the cash incentive. The results were mixed for teachers. The findings from this study suggest that there is a need to delve deeper into the concept of cash for grades because of unanswered questions: What amount of money is sufficient, and why are teachers‘ beliefs incongruent with their students‘ beliefs?
    • Language Arts Achievement and Reading Instructional Strategies in Indiana Elementary Schools with High Percentages of Increasing and Declining Enrollments

      McMahon, Maryanne B.
      The focus of this quantitative study was to identify third grade ISTEP+ data from the top 10 increasing and declining enrollment public school districts in the state of Indiana to determine if communities experiencing high percentages of increasing or declining enrollments have significantly different achievement in language arts. This data was disaggregated to examine the subgroups of English Language Learners and Socio-economic Status. Additionally, the study determined if teachers in these schools were informed about scientific, research-based reading instructional strategies and to what degree SRBI was utilized in reading instruction to meet the needs of students. School corporations experiencing high percentages of student enrollment gains had a higher mean on the language arts portion of the ISTEP+ for third grade students, and the subgroups of free and reduced lunch, and English Language Learners. These findings have practical significance in demonstrating if third grade students attending increasing enrollment schools outperformed students attending declining enrollment schools academically in language arts. This data has implications for both state and federal legislation regarding school improvement categories. The second part of the study focused on teacher survey data to determine utilization and source of knowledge regarding scientific, research-based instruction in reading. As a result, teachers believe they were utilizing scientific, research-based instruction to meet the needs of their changing student populations; however, there is no evidence teachers learned SRBI in pre-service programs.
    • Summer learning loss: The influence of summer school programs on student achievement in language usage, Math, and Reading

      Bakle, Bradley R.
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to analyze the effects of summer school remediation on elementary student achievement, while controlling for the effects of gender, socio-economic status (SES), and ethnicity, by comparing the differences between pre-test and post-test scores on the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) for matched pairs (based on pre-test scores) of summer school participants and non-summer school participants for each of five years. The independent variables included summer school participation, gender, SES, and ethnicity.The dependent variables included the student post-test NWEA MAP scores in each of three subject areas (language usage, reading, and math) for each grade level (2–5), in each year of the study. The covariates included the student pre-test NWEA MAP scores in each of the same subject areas and grade levels for each year of the study.Study participants were convenience samples of summer school students and their non-summer school counterparts in grades 2–5 from multiple elementary school sites within a single school district in northeast Indiana. As summer school programming remained the same for each year of the study, scores from each of the five years were combined for analysis according to subject and grade level to lend an overall perspective. For language usage, data was collected for 850 matched pairs of students. For math, there were 828 matched pairs. The study also included 853 matched pairs of students for reading.Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) at the .05 probability level (p=.05) was used to determine if there was a statistically significant difference between student post-test scores for summer school participants and their non-summer school counterparts, while controlling for gender, SES, and ethnicity. In order to isolate the effects of summer school for each grade level (2–5), there were 4 separate analyses, one for each elementary grade level, and 3 sub-analyses within each grade level – reading, language usage and math–leading to a total of 12 sets of ANCOVA analyses.The results of ANCOVA analysis showed a significant interaction effect between summer school participation and SES for both language usage and math in grade 2. However, there were no significant interaction effects or main effects of the independent variables on post-test reading scores for second graders.For third grade, ANCOVA analysis showed a significant interaction effect between summer school participation and SES for language usage. Participation in summer school was shown to have a significant main effect on post-test reading scores with summer school students scoring significantly lower than their non-summer school counterparts.In grade four, ANCOVA analysis revealed a significant interaction effect between summer school participation and gender for language usage. SES showed a significant main effect on post-test math scores, with paid lunch students performing significantly better than their free/reduced lunch peers for both summer school and non-summer school student groups. Participation in summer school was shown to have a significant main effect on post-test reading scores in fourth grade, with summer school students scoring significantly lower than their non-summer school counterparts.For grade five language usage students, each of the main effects of gender, ethnicity, and SES were statistically significant. Ethnicity was shown to have a significant main effect on post-test math scores with White students scoring significantly higher than students of all other ethnicities, regardless of participation in summer school. There were no significant interaction effects or main effects of the independent variables on post-test reading scores for fifth graders.These results indicate a need of review, revision, and refinement at all grade levels (2–5) and in all subjects (language usage, math, and reading) of the summer remediation programming within the study in order to effectively serve the needs of its students. Further, the study serves as a model and a call to action for educational administrators who are ready to engage in an objective analysis of summer school program effectiveness and are willing to embrace whatever shifts in operational or instructional paradigms may be needed for improvement.